Have You Heard About Obama's Harrassment Of Pro-Lifers?
I can only imagine if President George W. Bush had launched a harassment campaign against, say, Code Pink or other anti-war protesters. I imagine that we would have heard a great deal about it in the media, with fawning stories about the persecuted. But when the Obama Administration's Justice Department launched a campaign to go after pro-lifers who protest at Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities, the media were silent.
Even when the Justice Department has fared horribly in this campaign, it's still difficult to find any news about this. Tim Carney at the Washington Examiner has a column that describes this campaign and how it went for one woman:
Justly regarded as the most aggressive abortion defender to ever occupy the White House, President Obama has spent two years prosecuting pro-life advocates, using the Department of Justice as his weapon.
This campaign is so legally groundless that a federal judge recently ordered the DOJ to pay $120,000 to one of its targets, a pro-lifer caught peaceably distributing anti-abortion literature outside a Florida abortion facility.
When Mary Susan Pine was young, she had an abortion. The trauma and regret led her to become a pro-life activist, forming a nonprofit that tries to dissuade mothers from aborting their unborn children and provides women with pregnancy testing, sonograms, and post-pregnancy help.
Pine also engages in sidewalk counseling. Instead of protesting, as the court explains, she "approach[es] vehicles and pedestrians entering and exiting the [Presidential Women's Center] parking lot, engaging in conversations about abortion, and offering information and literature about 'life-affirming' alternatives to abortion and the resources available to pregnant women."
This is legal. So why did Eric Holder and the DOJ go after Pine?
We learn about the particulars of the case and how horribly it was prosecuted. It appears to the judge who threw out the case that the whole incident that led to the prosecution might have been a set-up designed to quell constitutionally protected activity rather than to actually vindicate the people who we're supposed to believe were aggrieved by this activity. The judge was so upset at the meritless nature of the case that he ordered DOJ to pay Pine's legal bills. Carney goes on:
But the prosecution of Pine must be understood as part of a broader DOJ campaign against sidewalk counselors. In late 2010, the DOJ brought a handful of these FACE cases. For instance, Dick Retta, an 80-year-old grandfather from Rockville who prays and counsels outside the Planned Parenthood office two blocks from the White House, is charged with obstructing a woman entering the building, and shouting after her, "Don't go in there. Don't let them kill your baby." ...
The Obama administration's zeal for these prosecutions, despite the lack of evidence, suggests that when it comes to abortion, at least, this president has real, if extra-legal, convictions.
It's also worth noting the different treatment that pro-lifers receive compared to, say, the Occupy Wall Street crowd.